Reviews \

Brad Paisley, ‘This Is Country Music’ (Arista Nashville)

By: Mikael Wood // May 24, 2011

Paying penance, perhaps, for 2009’s social-utopian American Saturday Night, Nashville’s savviest superstar goes just-folks with a vengeance on This Is Country Music, the title track of which compares its subject to “a road that takes you home.” Yet because Paisley writes with such song-doctor finesse — “You looked like the cover of Brides magazine,” he sings in “Love Her Like She’s Leavin’,” “and I looked like some guy in a tux” — small-town homilies (“Old Alabama,” “Camouflage”) don’t make you think of surrender. They make you think of life, small-town or otherwise.